Originally known as the Carson Indian Training School, Stewart Indian School was operated by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to provide vocational training and academic education for American Indian students from throughout the West for nearly a century.

W.D.C. Gibson, the first superintendent, renamed the boarding school in honor of U.S. Senator William Morris Stewart of Nevada.  Stewart was the principal figure in obtaining congressional authorization and funding for the institution.

In the early 1920s Superintendent Frederick Snyder initiated a building program at the school.  Students worked with stone masons, some of American Indian ancestry, to construct the handsome stone structures that still grace this campus, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.